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Two years ago, I launched The Fit Frequent Flyer. It was the most scary, vulnerable, and publicly personal thing I had ever done. I remember hiking with my family talking about the idea to start a blog about travel and fitness. Travel was a necessity for my career, fitness is my passion, and I was successful at incorporating health and fitness into a crazy travel schedule. Something many traveling professionals struggle with. My sister-in-law came up with the name and gave me the courage to write. I didn’t know it then, but I needed The Fit Frequent Flyer. I needed a creative outlet. I needed a project. I needed to feel like I was making a difference in the world, regardless of how small.
The blog became a wonderful release for me. It made me feel fulfilled and energized. It was an escape from the mundane of my day job. And, it was something more. Something grander. The blog exposed something buried deep inside me that had always been there, but I hadn’t tapped into yet, entrepreneurship. My mind was always working on one idea after the next.
Something else happened in my life during these two years. I watched ‘What the Health.’ Already a pescatarian, I had heard the messages before, and I knew the reasons to move to a plant-based diet. This time was different. I REALLY heard it. It resonated with me. I connected with the message. I promoted the message. I adopted the message. And most importantly, I connected with the animals at the heart of the message.
I decided I would not stand by passively any longer. I gave up fish. I abandoned eggs. I started exploring cruelty-free products. I found fun and fashionable vegan handbags and faux leather. I found faux suede and fur alternatives. I went to the shoe department…
Oh, the Shoe department at Nordstrom’s – my happy place. When jeans can be too tight, and bathing suits can be divesting. When tank tops show “boob fat” and sweaters are unflattering. Shoes just fit. They turn the average outfit into a statement. They bring an understated sexiness to date night or a confidence boost to a work presentation. This accessory, that we wear on our feet, can be empowering for us ladies, but at whose sacrifice?
Vegan shoe options simply don’t exist. At least not in fashionable, non-granola options. My calling was upon me. My passion for animals and love of shoes met with a loud and definitive call for action. For all intents and purposes, this action is called Amare, by Heidi.
I am not a designer. I sell datacenter storage. I didn’t go to fashion school, nor am I an exceptional artist. But, I got the call and I answered it. The last 9 months have been all about research, development and a whole lot of self-educating. Every time I think I find the answer to one question, I am met with something new to learn. I’m far enough along now that I see a launch in the future, but I still have a ways to go and a ton to learn.
This project keeps me up at night, or on better days, it gets me up at the crack of dawn excited and full of ideas. It consumes my thoughts and prayers, and more and more lately, it consumes my downtime. I’m not complaining. I’m bragging! I’m so energized, even when exhausted. That’s why I want to share the journey with you. I want you to be part of the creative, the operations, the struggle and the success.
I’m temporarily stepping away from The Fit Frequent Flyer. Not because it’s not important or meaningful anymore, but because my attention and time is needed elsewhere.
I hope that you join me on this adventure. Take the first step, in beautiful vegan shoes of course, with me and follow Creating Amare. Share your opinions, questions, and desires in footwear! I want to hear it all and deliver to you a brand you are proud to buy and feel damn fabulous wearing.